The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 196: ‘The Long Halloween’ Special

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of pop culture, including Batman: The Animated Series, Steven Universe, the MCU, Star Wars, and Doom Patrol. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight and more!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 196 - The Long Halloween Special

It's Halloween-time, so we decided to cover Warner Bros.' two-part animated adaptation of the graphic novel, Batman: The Long Halloween.

Like the book, the film showcases a collection of Gotham's rogues at their most wicked, while Batman, District Attorney Harvey Dent, and Commissioner Gordon hunt down a serial killer who strikes only on major holidays. Fittingly, the killer is known as Holiday and exhibits features similar to most serial killers: callousness, remorselessness, a need for recognition, and the use of "calling cards."

Calling cards, or the killer's signature, are often used to gain notoriety and "brag" publicly about one's crimes. They involve notes to law enforcement, physical artifacts left at the scene of the crime, and even how they treat the bodies of their victims. These "tricks" can also act as psychological injuries toward the good guys--a whole year passes with little progress in finding Holiday; and with each killing, Batman and the GCPD feel a deep sense of loss, frustration, and anger toward the elusive figure who has been terrorizing Gotham City.

In this episode, we discuss a number of mental health-related topics as they explore ideas that come up in the story - Why does Two-Face hear voices? Why is Batman motivated to pursue killers? and What can motivate serial killers? to name a few. It turns out that the real Holiday is far less interesting than the protagonists pursuing him--or her.

 

 


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